2019-2020 Season

The 17th Daniel Pearl World Music Days
Saturday, October 5 2019 at 7:30PM
Hall Auditorium

Carlos Chavez: Toccata for Percussion
Carl Maria Von Weber: Overture to the opera Der Freischütz
Robert Schumann: Symphony No. 3 in E-flat major, Op. 97, “Rhenish”

The Daniel Pearl World Music Days is an international network of concerts that use the power of music to spread a commitment to tolerance and humanity. This festival was founded in response to the 2002 kidnapping and murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl at the hands of extremists in Karachi, Pakistan.  Concerts that are part of this network inspire audiences with a sense of unity and purpose, reaffirming our commitment to international friendship by taking a stand against divisive forces. They use the power of music to spread a commitment to tolerance and humanity.

Our concert this year features the way rivers – forever intertwined with our past, present and future – reflect the full spectrum of the human experience. In the present case, we will feature the beautiful Symphony No. 3 by Schumann, which was inspired by the river Rhine in Germany, which was so connected with Schumann’s life. This symphony was created after a happy and peaceful trip the composer took with his wife Clara in the Rhineland, allowing him to incorporate elements of the journey and portray other experiences from his life into the music. However, a mental illness later led him to attempt suicide by throwing himself from a bridge into the same river.

The program will be complemented by the overture to the opera Freischütz by Weber, which is a landmark of the music literature, a work that captures the essence of the German Romanticism. Finally, the percussion section of the orchestra will feature Carlos Chavez’s Toccata for Percussion, a work commissioned by John Cage that has been described as “creating an original climate of intense attractiveness and achieving great diversity of accents, sounds, and nuances.”

Defying the System:
In the Shadow of Stalin
Monday, November 25 2019 at 7:30PM
Hall Auditorium

Featuring the Symphony No. 5 by Dmitri Shostakovich

The Miami University Symphony Orchestra in collaboration with the Havighurst Center for Russian and Post-Soviet Studies is proud to present a concert that will feature our first performance of this breakthrough symphony by Shostakovich. This symphony was written at the height of the Stalinist purges of 1937, when millions of Soviet citizens were forcibly relocated, exiled and/or killed outright. At that time, Shostakovich was emerging from a period of total musical banishment, by presenting his fifth symphony, and calling it “a response to my critics.” Being such a talented composer living and creating within one of history’s most restrictive, whimsical, and repressive regimes, this symphony surfaced as a work marked by paradox and ambiguity, which will lead us to passionate discussions.

Music and Physics
Wednesday, March 4 2020 at 7:30PM
Hall Auditorium

 Featuring The Planets by Gustav Holst narrated by Dr. Renate Crawford

What is the Universe? The Universe is a symphony of vibrating strings…We are nothing but Melodies. We are nothing but Cosmic Music played out on vibrating strings and Membranes.
Michio Kaku, Professor of Physics

 Art interprets the visible world: images through the visual arts and sounds through music. Physics charts its unseen workings. The two realms seem completely opposed. But consider that both strive to reveal truths for which there are no words––with physicists using the language of mathematics and musicians through the manipulations of sounds. The connections of music and physics has been explored since the beginning of our civilization, through the Greek concept of the liberal arts, where Music was placed side by side with Astronomy as part of the quadrivium, the mathematical liberal arts.

The Department of Physics joins forces with the Department of Music to feature this transdisciplinary program that explores how the mysteries of the university are connected with music: from the origins of the cosmos to superstring theory. Featuring Professor Renate Crawford narrating the program during the performance of Gustav Holst’s The Planets.

We Are the Champions:
A Concert of Music and Sports
Friday, May 8 2020 at 7:30PM
Hall Auditorium

Practice like you’ve never won, perform like you’ve never lost.

Music and sports are regarded traditionally as separate worlds. Today we know that these worlds intersect, collide and complement each other. Music promotes arousal regulation by allowing athletes to feel more energized before a competition or to feel calmer when they need to combat anxiety. Synchronization of physical motions with the rhythm of the music can enhance performance and musical gestures find parallel in physical gestures related with motor skills. The aspect that brings athletes and musicians closest is the constant pressure to perform under the spotlight.  Classical musicians and elite athletes seem to spend their careers questioning whether their life has a purpose beyond that of a dedication to perfection.

With so many aspects in common between sports and music, the Miami University Symphony Orchestra features the Winners of the 2019-20 Concerto Competition, “musical athletes” of the Department of Music. The concert is dedicated to our peers, the university athletes, and their coaches, congratulating them for the outstanding achievements during this academic year.

Featuring the Winners of the 2019-20 Concerto Competition